A. Achilles, R. Bärenwald, B.-D. Lechner, S. Werner, H. Ebert,
C. Tschierske, A. Blume, K. Bacia, K. Saalwächter.
Self-Assembly of X-Shaped Bolapolyphiles in Lipid Membranes:
Solid-State NMR Investigations.
Langmuir 32, 673-682 (2016).
A novel class of rigid-rod bolapolyphilic molecules with three philicities (rigid aromatic core, mobile aliphatic side chains, polar end groups) has recently been demonstrated to incorporate into and span lipid membranes, and to exhibit a rich variety of self-organization modes, including macroscopically ordered snowflake structures with 6-fold symmetry. In order to support a structural model and to better understand the self-organization on a molecular scale, we here report on proton and carbon-13 high-resolution magic-angle spinning solid-state NMR investigations of two different bolapolyphiles (BPs) in model membranes of two different phospholipids (DPPC, DOPC). We elucidate the changes in molecular dynamics associated with three new phase transitions detected by calorimetry in composite membranes of different composition, namely, a change in π–π-packing, the melting of lipid tails associated with the superstructure, and the dissolution and onset of free rotation of the BPs. We derive dynamic order parameters associated with different H–H and C–H bond directions of the BPs, demonstrating that the aromatic cores are well packed below the final phase transition, showing only 180° flips of the phenyl ring, and that they perform free rotations with additional oscillations of the long axis when dissolved in the fluid membrane. Our data suggests that BPs not only form ordered superstructures, but also rather homogeneously dispersed π-packed filaments within the lipid gel phase, thus reducing the corrugation of large vesicles.